August 18, 2009, Clark County Amphitheater was the setting for Brian Baird’s first townhall after stating he would not hold any due to alleged death threats. Attendance was about 2800 according to the Columbian article on the event.
In all, the townhall went off with any major distractions, although a comment early on stating that many nations, Cuba included, had a lower infant mortality rate than the U.S. did, brought out the first loud grown and heavy boos from the audience.
Organizing for America sent out an email earlier calling on their followers to show up at 5 PM for the 7 PM event, to “make sure that the most powerful voices in this debate are those calling for real reform, not angrily clamoring for the status quo.”
Unfortunately for them, they were met by between 20 or 30 conservatives who arrived even earlier, yours truly included.
The gates were not to open until 6 PM and the line grew back out into the parking lot. Several Obama followers came with professionally made signs or those printed off of Organizing for America’s email.
A table was set up inside the gates entrance for registering to ask question. A group that had been milling around went in, identified as “volunteers,” although not one Republican was included in that group.
No signs were allowed in the auditorium, causing boxes of signs to be left outside the gate.
While the line was, for the most part, orderly, there were a couple Dem activists there who did try to incite trouble with bullhorns.
One, a Black lady passing out pro-Obamascare literature, tried to provoke confrontations, several times stepping very close to me as I handed out my flyers and eventually, following a man who brushed passed her after she stepped in his way, screaming in her bullhorn, and in his ear, that he shoved her and she wanted Police to arrest him.
Obviously a paid professional activist, if not an ACORN member.
Nothing came of it and seeing my wife starring at her, she began her bullhorn act again, right in my wife’s face.
Organizing for America met an unexpected flop as they set up their gazebo to give out professional signs in support. But with no signs allowed, they wasted their time trying to overpower this townhall.
Too bad, so sad.
Another supporter claiming to be a Viet Nam Veteran, tried to confront me for not supporting VA Healthcare for all and who seemed to be offended that I said he and I earned our VA Healthcare benefit. His wife stepped and got in my face to let me have it, informing me that her husband was alive due to VA Healthcare.
I lowered my head allowing her to see my Viet Nam Veteran hat and even her husband let her know that I was not the run of the mill conservative they could yell down easily.
Not too surprisingly, shortly before 7, I decided to walk through the lot just to see license plates, discovering a couple dozen Oregon Plates in the first 4 rows. I did not check on the 6 or 7 more rows back, but would bet money there was dozens more. No buses, though, that I saw.
Inside, questions were randomly chosen and were not pre-selected, as some have said they were. In all, 37 people were selected to ask their questions.
The first two were fairly softball in nature, but many others weren’t.
Of the first in support, single payer or a public option was mentioned as essential. One Dem woman made more of a speech than a question, exceeding her 3 minute limit and stating it was obscene that a CEO should be paid $6,000 an hour.
Another male complained about $900 a month insurance premiums, but then stated he was in a Union, destroying any credibility he might have had with the claim.
Several Veterans rose up and let Baird know they weren’t too pleased with his conduct of late, especially the ‘brown shirt’ comments. Baird sasid he was wrong and had apologized for it, but others still rose up to scold him over that.
One Marine rose mentioning the parenting skill section of the Pelosi bill and told Baird to “keep your hands off of my kids!” He received a standing ovation from the better than 2 to 1 conservative audience.
Several expressed distrust of the government with one stating he had taken an oath to protect and defend the constitution and was doing just that. He ended asking Baird when would he begin upholding the constitution.
I’d say the bulk of questions Baird was asked were against the Obamascare plan, but give Baird credit for being a slick politician and deflecting some, just not answering others.
The audience was loud at times, but mostly just with disagreement with a claim in an answer, occasionally in agreement. No violence for the 11 O’Clock news, although I saw both KGW 8 and KOIN 6 news crews there and also Eric the Great from KPAM 860 AM radio’s Victoria Taft, who was doing a live feed from the Amphitheater.
KATU also covered the event live.
5 Minutes from the end of the event, one Dem stood up and grabbed the microphone to yell out “single payer for all,” but left right after, the event close to being over anyway.
The audience expressed their anger with the proposed plan and Baird’s poor comments a couple weeks ago, but did not get out of hand. Baird had to face angry constituents, but was not threatened
Many properly scolded him, expressing our anger, frustration and fear of this socialist takeover robbing us of our liberties.
Did he listen and take our words and anger to heart?
Most likely not.
Come November 2010, Baird needs to be put in the unemployment line so we can elect someone who will actually represent our best interests.
CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, my profound apologies. You expected another out of control townhall with confrontations and maybe violence.
Even your paid goons could not incite it.
CVTV Video of the townhall
UPDATE: Brian Baird Steps On His Tongue Again
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Posted by Lew Waters at 10:45 AM